Berlusconi is nicknamed ‘il Cavaliere’ since he is a Knight of the Order of Merit for Labor. Will he lose this honor ?
In the chaos of Italian law, the answer is of course not easy. The Italian Criminal Code says that you lose your honors only if you are banned from public office, which is not yet the case for Mr Berlusconi.
The 1986 Law creating the Order says that honors are lost for ‘indignity’, a very vague ground. The Letta Government, which should order the recall of the honor, is unlikely to make any move if not compelled by law to avoid angering Mr Berlusconi.
However, the Law also states that if you can’t hold a honor if you didn’t abide to your tax obligations, and Mr Berlusconi was found guilty of tax fraud.
A mixture of law and politics will decide whether or not we will still be entitled to call Mr Berlusconi ‘Cavaliere’.